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Questions on hybrid cars

KleinKlein Registered User regular
I am looking to replace my car with a sedan hybrid car, around 2010-2015. Electric vehicles are not an option with my current situation. Anything newer is likely to be outside of my budget.

1. How susceptible are batteries to extreme cold? It can dip down to -20 F where I live.

2. Are there any notable hybrids I should consider other than a prius? I am looking for something that gets good fuel economy and is reliable mainly. I like the lift back of the prius for transportation.

3. How do lighter, less powerful hybrids handle snow? I am experienced driving in snow on normal all season tires and I have not had an issue, but my car is heavier with average power.

Thank for any input and advice.

Posts

  • KetarKetar My autocomplete is a tad agressive today.Registered User regular
    As far as question 1, you shouldn't have any issues with extreme cold. I live in Chicago and have had a hybrid Sonata for years with no problems.

    I haven't had any issues handling snow either, compared to any other sedan I've ever driven. Not sure what it would be like for something lighter or less powerful, but I can tell you I see a ton of Priuses around here.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited January 23
    I have a 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid. It does not do snow that well. I think it just has too much torque and isn't well weighted for driving without chains/cables. I've only previously owned AWD SUVs though so it may be perfectly normal for FWD cars.

    I got the vehicle used for 17k with less than 30k miles so for my money it was an incredible value. I definitely recommend checking one out if you see it around.

    dispatch.o on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    1 - The cold isn't a big deal. There are a ton of people who drive a Prius up here (Vermont/New Hampshire border) and the high temperature here has been 0 the last couple days.

    3 - Ahh... the Prius C handles like dogshit in the snow, but it has a tiny engine. I used to drive one for work when we switched from the VW bug and I hated driving it six months of the year. The regular Prius and the V have a bigger engine and weigh more, though, and they handle fine in the snow.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    hybrids generally have decent cold cranking amps. In terms of snow, tires are going to matter more than the weight of the hybrid.

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Klein wrote: »
    I am looking to replace my car with a sedan hybrid car, around 2010-2015. Electric vehicles are not an option with my current situation. Anything newer is likely to be outside of my budget.

    1. How susceptible are batteries to extreme cold? It can dip down to -20 F where I live.

    2. Are there any notable hybrids I should consider other than a prius? I am looking for something that gets good fuel economy and is reliable mainly. I like the lift back of the prius for transportation.

    3. How do lighter, less powerful hybrids handle snow? I am experienced driving in snow on normal all season tires and I have not had an issue, but my car is heavier with average power.

    Thank for any input and advice.

    Can you give us a heads up on your actual budget? If you want something bigger and with AWD for helping to handle snow better, I'm seeing things like Toyota Highlander hybrids and Lexus RX400h's for between $7k-$9k on cars.com.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited January 23
    Also are you going with hybrids because of fuel efficiency or for a different reason?

    The reason I ask is that a newer non hybrid subcompact might be close in fuel efficiency with much greater reliability.

    zepherin on
    dispatch.o
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Huge fan of my Kia Niro hybrid, though I don't know if there is a 2015 model... They may all be newer.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    The Honda Accord hybrid is the one I want to get once I get enough money saved up. It's generally pretty highly rated on best hybrid lists. But I also just love Hondas (and even my ICE Honda gets fantastic mileage).

  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    I believe Subaru is coming out with a Crosstrek hybrid, depending on your budget could be an option

    VishNub
  • MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius but also susie nyRegistered User regular
    I have driven a Prius for well over a decade. Not the same one- I'm on my third.
    My first two were in Colorado. My first one had a lot of issues with the cold as it got older. It was a 2003, so they have gotten better. No issues with the other ones.
    I only had an issue once in my time driving in the snow in Colorado. It was a large unplowed, unsanded hill, traffic stopped halfway and I slid down into a ditch. I didn't have snow tires, and have never really driven with them. But in over a decade of driving, that isn't so bad.
    My second one died at an inopportune time, so when I went for my latest car, I just got a lease I could afford. It ended up being a Prius Plug-in that was cheaper than normal due to the line being discontinued. So far it works well- we don;t have access to a charger, so I cannot comment on that part, but the normal hybrid part works fine. Only problem is no spare tire, since the charging takes up a bit of trunk space.

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  • KleinKlein Registered User regular
    edited January 23
    Thanks everyone for suggestions, I appreciate them. My price range is $10k - 15k total, i would prefer on the lower side but not if I am getting a significantly older or worse condition vehicle. I plan on driving this vehicle for 10+ years.

    As far as buying from a dealer, any suggestions there when I comes to negotiating a used vehicle? I few family members I have spoken to told me generally most places will not come down much since prices are posted online.

    I have been looking through the suggestions on this thread, any thoughts?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/8tx3lp/ultimate_new_car_buying_guide_part_1_of_2

    Klein on
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Klein wrote: »
    Thanks everyone for suggestions, I appreciate them. My price range is $10k - 15k total, i would prefer on the lower side but not if I am getting a significantly older or worse condition vehicle. I plan on driving this vehicle for 10+ years.

    As far as buying from a dealer, any suggestions there when I comes to negotiating a used vehicle? I few family members I have spoken to told me generally most places will not come down much since prices are posted online.

    I have been looking through the suggestions on this thread, any thoughts?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/8tx3lp/ultimate_new_car_buying_guide_part_1_of_2
    I would use edmonds and Kelly Blue book to determine rough prices for the car you are looking for, but you can also use a car buying service like Costco.

    I bought my last car through Costco's car buying service, it was a new car but it was about 5k under MSRP. The only annoying thing was I got a bunch of phone calls from car dealerships.

    One dealership called me like 5 fucken times. Still it was the best pricing.

    If I were in that budget range looking for something fuel efficient I would get a brand new Kia Rio, but because you are looking for a hybrid. See if you can get certified used because that has some warranty on it.

  • GonmunGonmun He keeps kickin' me in the dickRegistered User regular
    I own a 2011 Sonata Hybrid and have been getting about 7 to 7.5 L/100km (about 31 mpg city) in the bitter cold here. Highway I'm getting around 6.5 (35-36 mpg). Warmer months I am getting closer to 6.8 city and 5.9 highway (34-35 mpg city and almost 40 mpg highway). Tank size is reasonable as well at 18.5 gallons.

    I made a good highway trip earlier this week of about 211 miles and used just under half the tank with a few larger hills. The transmission in that car is a 6 speed which is so much smoother on steep climbs.

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Klein wrote: »
    Thanks everyone for suggestions, I appreciate them. My price range is $10k - 15k total, i would prefer on the lower side but not if I am getting a significantly older or worse condition vehicle. I plan on driving this vehicle for 10+ years.

    As far as buying from a dealer, any suggestions there when I comes to negotiating a used vehicle? I few family members I have spoken to told me generally most places will not come down much since prices are posted online.

    I have been looking through the suggestions on this thread, any thoughts?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/8tx3lp/ultimate_new_car_buying_guide_part_1_of_2

    So my research on this is a few years out of date so take with a grain of salt but the battery packs in hybrids are scheduled for replacement at like 8 years. That's gonna be a huge cost just lurking and may spike your budget. The condition of the battery pack is going to be a huge factor in the value of a hybrid and what a good price would be.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Klein wrote: »
    Thanks everyone for suggestions, I appreciate them. My price range is $10k - 15k total, i would prefer on the lower side but not if I am getting a significantly older or worse condition vehicle. I plan on driving this vehicle for 10+ years.

    As far as buying from a dealer, any suggestions there when I comes to negotiating a used vehicle? I few family members I have spoken to told me generally most places will not come down much since prices are posted online.

    I have been looking through the suggestions on this thread, any thoughts?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/8tx3lp/ultimate_new_car_buying_guide_part_1_of_2

    So my research on this is a few years out of date so take with a grain of salt but the battery packs in hybrids are scheduled for replacement at like 8 years. That's gonna be a huge cost just lurking and may spike your budget. The condition of the battery pack is going to be a huge factor in the value of a hybrid and what a good price would be.

    Just for the record, I've got a 2005 Prius with original batteries that's still going strong.

    Honestly, if you're planning on driving a car for 10+ years, you should probably be buying new - especially if you can get it from a place that throws in your maintenance.

    For financing, look for local (or national) credit unions you can join. They'll usually have some pretty sweet rates on car loans.

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  • PeccaviPeccavi Registered User regular
    Klein wrote: »
    Thanks everyone for suggestions, I appreciate them. My price range is $10k - 15k total, i would prefer on the lower side but not if I am getting a significantly older or worse condition vehicle. I plan on driving this vehicle for 10+ years.

    As far as buying from a dealer, any suggestions there when I comes to negotiating a used vehicle? I few family members I have spoken to told me generally most places will not come down much since prices are posted online.

    I have been looking through the suggestions on this thread, any thoughts?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/8tx3lp/ultimate_new_car_buying_guide_part_1_of_2

    So my research on this is a few years out of date so take with a grain of salt but the battery packs in hybrids are scheduled for replacement at like 8 years. That's gonna be a huge cost just lurking and may spike your budget. The condition of the battery pack is going to be a huge factor in the value of a hybrid and what a good price would be.

    This has been the experience of the hybrid owners I know as well. After a certain age/mileage the battery will trigger a check engine light until it's replaced, and even though the car still drives fine you can't register it.

    Nothing like a little forced obsolescence.

  • mRahmanimRahmani DetroitRegistered User regular
    It's not forced obsolescence, it's an EPA regulation. Any fault that causes an increase in tailpipe emissions has to trigger the "check engine" sign. Hybrid battery diagnostics fall in this area. A poorly performing battery cell can knock out others around it, or a failed battery pack temperature sensor may cause the vehicle to default to gasoline-only power as a safety measure. Manufacturers aren't purposely disabling batteries in their vehicles to make you upgrade.

    If the check engine light is on, something is wrong with the battery pack or the hybrid control system.

    chrishallett83BouwsT
  • KleinKlein Registered User regular
    edited January 30
    Just an update, I ended up getting a good deal on a Prius. It definitely is taking some time to get use to, but it is handling the cold weather well. It's not the most nimble car in the world, but I am enjoying having a reliable vehicle. Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions!

    Klein on
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